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Boston Area Real Estate Company Reaches $180K Settlement for Lead Paint Disclosure Violations

Release Date: 09/05/2008
Contact Information: Paula Ballentine, (617) 918-1027

(Boston, Mass. – Sept. 5, 2008) – A Boston-based real estate company and its affiliates have agreed to pay a penalty and replace windows containing lead-based paint to settle alleged federal lead paint disclosure law violations at properties they own and rent in five communities in Massachusetts.

The Mayo Development Group, LLC, is a real estate investment, management and development company that owns and manages apartment buildings in the Dorchester, Hyde Park, Mattapan, Jamaica Plain and Roxbury areas of Boston. Mayo also owns properties outside of Boston. Most of these properties were constructed prior to 1978 and are subject to the lead paint Disclosure Rule.

In July 2006, EPA inspectors conducted an inspection at Mayo’s offices in Boston. As a result of the inspection, EPA determined that lead-paint disclosure had not been provided to tenants prior to executing lease contracts, violating the Toxic Substances Control Act, the Residential Lead-based Paint Hazard Reduction Act and the federal Disclosure Rule.

Under the settlement, Mayo will pay a fine of $28,301 and spend $152,420 to replace 157 windows containing lead-based paint at 137-149 and 161 Broad Street, Lynn, Massachusetts. Mayo also has agreed to maintain compliance with the Disclosure Rule.

The purpose of the Disclosure Rule is to give tenants adequate information about the risks associated with lead paint in a particular rental unit and related common areas to enable them to consider such risks prior to becoming obligated under a lease contract. Mayo and its affiliated companies’ failure to comply with the Disclosure Rule prevented tenants from considering the potential presence of lead-based paint and the hazards that may result from the presence of lead-based paint in the units they rented on a window replacement.

Infants and young children are especially vulnerable to lead paint exposure, which can cause intelligence quotient deficiencies; reading and learning disabilities; impaired hearing; reduced attention span, hyperactivity and behavior problems. Adults with high lead levels can suffer difficulties during pregnancy, high blood pressure, nerve disorders, memory problems and muscle and joint pain.

EPA has conducted hundreds of inspections in New England, and, in collaboration with its partners, has conducted many compliance assistance workshops in the region for realtors, property managers and legal counsel.

More information:
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Lead paint health hazards (epa.gov/ne/eco/ne_lead/index.html)
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Lead-based paint disclosure rule (epa.gov/ne/enforcement/leadpaint/index.html)